Europa League: Big Night for Spurs

The 2012-13 Europa League moves to the knockout stage.With US soccer players Brad Friedel and Clint Dempsey in the starting lineup, Spurs used two Gareth Bale free kicks to take a 2-1 lead into the deciding leg of their Europa League Round of 32 series with Lyon. Bale scored in first-half stoppage time with Lyon equalizing in the 55th minute. With only second remaining in stoppage time, Bale repeated his free kick exploits. Dempsey subbed out in the 67th minute. The series concludes next Thursday at Stade de Gerland.

“The game was solved in three moments of great individual brilliance, not only Gareth’s goals, but Umtiti’s goal too,” Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas said. “It was a good European night.”

Steve Cherundolo’s recovery from knee surgery kept him out of Hannover 96’s 3-1 loss to Anzhi in Moscow. Hannover led from a 22nd minute Szabolcs Huszti goal. Anzhi equalized in the 34th and added goals in the 48th and 64th minutes.

“We started calmly and with composure,” Hannover 96 manager Mirko Slomka said. “I was impressed at how we scored the first goal that Anzhi have conceded at home in this competition. That was exactly what we wanted, to take the strength out of their game. However, the individual class, collective composure and tactical intricacies were missing today and we needed to be more alive to it.”

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